Media Contacts

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions

250 213-7049 (media line)


B.C.’s response to two public health emergencies

B.C. has taken swift action to enhance its overdose response to two public health emergencies – COVID-19 and the overdose crisis:

  • New guidance for prescribers was implemented to increase access to safer pharmaceutical alternatives during the pandemic.
  • The Lifeguard app was launched to help protect people using alone. The app has been used nearly 11,000 times with 11 lifesaving paramedic responses.
  • Overdose prevention and supervised consumption services were declared as essential services, and sites were supported to stay open safely.
  • Access to 24-7 support was increased, with six new assertive community treatment (ACT) teams to care for people and help reduce street disorder.
  • The number of youth treatment beds will be doubled provincewide through a $36-million investment.
  • New treatment and recovery beds for adults throughout B.C. are being added through a $13.5-million investment.
  • Access to Naloxone kits were expanded to 1,795 locations throughout the province. About 75,800 naloxone kits have been used to reverse overdoses since August 2012.